Mr Ron John
37 Years Old
Province: Bantheay Meanchey
Injury: Landmine - 1989 as a soldier.
As a farmer and labourer working the rice fields in his village, and sometimes across the Thai border, John's injury made his life extremely difficult. Not only was the work arduous, but it produced minimum income for John and his family.
Now he can work from his shop at the front of his house, seeing around five customers a day. No more long journeys for fruitless hard labour are necessary for him to live comfortably.
As mentioned by other barbering students, John found the action of using the scissors and clippers very challenging. He was on the edge of quitting his training when his teacher stepped in to reassure him that other students have the same difficulties but are able to complete the course and run successful businesses.
John sadly separated from his wife in Thailand, when he was unable to earn enough money to support them both. He was forced to beg on the streets to make money to feed himself. Finally he made his way back to Cambodia where CWARS (now known as Lom Orng) gave him the chance to turn his life around. He has done just that. He now provides all the food, clothing and support his two children need to send them to school and raise them in a happy family environment.
Based on his tidy, professional appearance, and busy shop, its almost impossible to think of the hardships he has endured. Not only has he lost a leg in a terrible war, but he lost his wife due to his poverty, and became an alcoholic trying to deal with the grief of loosing his wife. This seems simply too much for any one man to overcome. But once again I am overwhelmed by the determination and resilience these students display, and the positivity they exude after the Lom Orng training and counselling programs.